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Saraki Blasts Oshiomhole, Says you Will Continue to Dream of My Removal

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By Abdullahi Mohammed

The Senate President Bukola Saraki has told Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) that the plot to oust him will remain a dream which the former Edo governor will continue to have.

Mr Saraki said this in reaction to the remarks of Oshiomhole that not only will the APC impeach the Senate President, they will also ensure he does not get re-elected at the 2019 general election.

Responding, the top lawmaker said the plot to oust him was not only a wishful thinking but also going to be an exercise in futility.

In a statement penciled down on Friday by his media aide, Yusuf Olaniyon, the former Kwara governor said the APC chairman was behaving like rain-beaten chicken.

“It is rather surprising that Mr. Adams Oshiomhole is behaving like a rain-beaten chicken, crying all over the place about Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, as if the Senate President is the apparition haunting his life and the sinking ship that he captains,” Saraki said.

“Having decided not to join the pigs in rolling in the dirt; we would not like to be involved in any meaningless exchange with the demagogue now in charge of APC. However, because he claimed that he was reacting to the issues raised by the Senate President during his World Press Conference, we thought it necessary to give the APC chairman some attention.

“Alas, we found that instead of addressing any issue raised by the Senate President, his press conference merely showcased his obsession and those of his sponsors with Saraki’s removal, which he did without any decorum befitting of his age or his awarded office. He brimmed with hate, hurled abuses, threw tantrums, told lies, huffed, puffed. In the end, he said nothing.

“It is indeed amazing that the same Oshiomhole, who is now describing Saraki as a politician of no consequence was the same one who only a few months ago was crawling all over the place pleading for Saraki’s support to become chairman. We are sure that those who took him to Saraki several times to plead his case must now be thoroughly embarrassed by his reckless and uncouth manner.

“By his conduct and utterances, Oshiomhole, who accused Saraki of not acting in national interest needs to do more to convince Nigerians that his desperate desire to become party chairman is not simply to feed his over-sized ego.

“The position of Oshiomhole and his cohorts in the APC that the Senate President must resign is a mere wishful thinking. They will continue to dream about their planned removal of the Senate President. They will need 73 Senators to lawfully remove Dr. Saraki and they will never get that in the present eight Senate.

“The argument of APC that the Senate President must come from a majority party; that the Senate Presidency is their crown and National Assembly is their palace is only supported by ignorance and dangerous delusion. First, the issue of which party is in the majority will only be resolved when the Senate resume. Two, Section 50 (1) (a) of the constitution is clear that any Senator can be elected as Senate President. If the only thing left of the APC change agenda is to change the Senate President we can only wish them goodluck.

“Perhaps, Mr. Oshiomhole needs to be better educated about our parliamentary history when he Stated that “For the first time in parliamentary history in Nigeria, we had a situation where the APC had majority of Senators and went on to elect a PDP as Deputy Senate President”. Where is Mr. Oshiomhole when Senator John Wash Pam of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) became Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic even when the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) had the majority. The same thing happened in the House of Representatives when NPP’s Rt. Hon. Edwin Umeh Ezeoke was elected Speaker in an NPN majority House. But then, it would require a level of education to understand these things.

“What hypocrisy! To think that this same APC were jubilating when Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal retained his position after he defected from the PDP and still retained his seat, even when his new party was in the minority. These are people whose standards of morality are infinitely elastic.

“We are sure the remaining APC Senators need to do a lot of work to bring Oshiomhole up to speed about parliamentary practice. His ignorance are too clear in his comments about how the Senate was adjourned on July 24, 2018, the distribution of committee chairmanship in the Senate and the difference between the post of Senate President and Minority Leader.

“He has made so much song and dance about Mr. Godswill Akpabio resigning as Senate Minority Leader when he left the PDP to join APC. For this, Akpabio has become his hero and a symbol of honour. He obviously does not understand that the post of Minority Leader is a strictly party affair. And the PDP simply decided who to give it as it is not even a position that was mentioned in the constitution. Whereas, the Senate President position is a constitutional creation, which required majority votes of all the members. Again, we don’t expect people whose only experience in politics is at the provincial levels to understand this. No wonder they are talking of crowns and inheritance.

“The fair distribution of the Committee chairmanship is one of the stabilizing factors in the 8th Senate and has helped it in achieving more than all its predecessors.

“We need to inform this divisive element who now leads APC that if he wants to know why the 2018 budget was delayed, he should ask the heads of the MDAs. We reckon that should be easy for him since he is now their ‘headmaster’, moving around with canes to whip ministers into line.

“Oshiomhole once again demonstrated his lack of sense of history by talking of Buhari winning more votes in Kwara than Saraki. We are sure President Buhari himself will disagree with the APC chairman. We invite the APC chairman to look at the figures of votes secured by the President in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 to know that the difference is clear, like a commercial advert stated.

“We hereby assure this garrulous, tactless and reckless APC chairman that a million of Adams Oshiomhole cannot remove Saraki as Senate President. His illegal plots, can only feed his insatiable ego and keep him awake at nights. But it will remain an exercise in futility.”

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CISLAC Demands Independent Probe into $5 Million Bribery Allegation

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The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the National Contact for Transparency International (TI), has expressed concern over the committee set up by the Kano State House of Assembly to investigate the recent $5million bribery allegation attributed to the State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as displayed in a widely shared video clip. This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)

While CISLAC commended the effort and ability of the Kano State House of Assembly at setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged bribery, Rafasanjani said “we are worried that the outcome of such investigation would not command public trust and credibility respect except if handled by independent and competent ICT professionals with track record of integrity.

“We are confident an independent inquiry outside the instrumentality of Kano State governance structure will to a large extent assure Nigerians of fearless fact-findings on the true nature of the video clip in fulfilment of the Federal Government’s readiness to combat corruption within and outside the ruling party.We must, therefore, reiterate that anything short of an independent investigation would seem stage-managed before the public” Rafasanjani said.

Rafsanjani said that we are also not unaware of the infringement of human rights, intimidation and harassment of the whistle-blowers and citizens who stepped out to peacefully protest this allegation against the Governor. We find this disheartening and reiterates our persistent demand for the adoption of a Whistle-blower Protection Law Citizens’ right to freedom of association and expression should in no way be muzzled in this issue.

And called on the President and the Inspector General of Police to guarantee the rights of the people for a peaceful protest and ensure lives are secured.

We call for the Governor to immediately step aside to allow high level transparency, accountability and rule of law in the process of the investigation and prevent possible influence of the “fact-findings”. This will guarantee fairness and discourage undue interference in the investigation.

Rafsanjani also call on the National Assembly and anti-corruption agencies to live up to the expectations and trust placed in them by Nigerians in ensuring perpetrators of corrupt practice are brought to book, while guaranteeing adequate protection for whistle-blowing effort through enabling policies implementation and transition into legislation.

“We also call on the Ruling Party to stay silent on the issue if the party is really going to be believed that it is fighting corruption” he said.

Rafsanjani assured that CISLAC remains committed to monitoring the government at all levels to ensure that she fulfils her promises to the citizens of our great country.

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Fayose must not die in your custody, Frank warns EFCC

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…Accuses Buhari of persecution

The immediate past Deputy National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has strongly condemned the continued detention of immediate past Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), warning that no harm must happen to the former governor.

Frank said the alarm is necessary because of the information available to him that the agency has been instructed ‘by the powers that be’ to either poison or render the outspoken politician (Fayose) incapacitated ahead of the 2019 general elections.

In a statement released on Wednesday in Abuja, Frank wondered why somebody who voluntary released himself to the agency should be kept in custody more than 24 hours.

The former APC spokesman said that in as much as he will never support corruption, justice must be done to all and sundry.

Frank revealed that Fayose is being held by the EFCC not because of any currupt act but because of his outspokenness against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC.

He wondered “why former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal was not detain over allegation of grasscutting scandal, why EFCC refuse to invite the wife of the President Aisha Buhari over recent allegation involving his ADC, why MTN scandal involving Chief of Staff to the President is not investigated, why NNPC scandal involving the GMD Kanti Baru and why allegation of corruption against the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomohle does not interest the agency, among so many others in the ruling party.

“The truth is that once you are not a member of APC, you are corrupt but once you join the evil party, your sins are forgiven,” he state.

On the plan to render Fayose incapacitated, Frank said: “A Senior staff of the agency last night had to call attention of some opposition leaders to the instruction given to the agency by the presidency to ensure that Fayose does not leave EFCC custody a healthy person.

“Another operative early this morning also informed us that a healthy Fayose who walked into headquarters of EFCC yesterday was seen vomiting this morning. I called on Nigerians to pray for Fayose because the evil plan of APC government against the PDP leader is not known yet.”

Frank, who urge the former governor not to eat or drink anything coming from the operative of EFCC, also called the attention of the international community to what he described as a selective manner in which President Buhari is fighting corruption in Nigeria.

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Mining Union faults FG on planned sale of ASCO, wants CBN Gov sacked

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The umbrella body responsible for the affairs of mines workers in Nigeria, the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers (NUMW) has called for the resignation or outright sack of the Governor of the Central Bank (CBN) of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele over what it described as the inability of the apex financial institution to articulate policy measure that will lead to the rejuvenation of the moribund Federal-Government owned Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO), adding that government’s disposition to selling ASCO, a decision supported by the CBN, reflects the intellectual poverty of the country’s apex financial institution.

It could be recall that while briefing the Nigerian delegation at the end of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group meetings in Bali, Indonesia, recently, Emefiele said Ajaokuta Steel Company and other national assets will be sold to service the 2018 deficit budget.
While describing ASCO as the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization which must be nurtured and prioritized as an emblem of National Pride, the National President of the Mining Union, Comr. Hamza Mohammed called on government to ensure that ASCO remains under domestic ownership and control, adding that countries which developed their indigenous steel sectors have become better for it.

He tasked Emefiele and the Minister of Finance to articulate a policy direction for the funds needed to resuscitate ASCO, he called on the Senate to intervene by ensuring that the nations institutions in the finance sector work toward articulating a poly measure to address the problem.
“The Nigerian Union of Miens Workers entirely kicks against any form of sale or transfer of ownership of ASCO to foreign bodies or organizations as it is not the best for the development of Nigeria’s industrial sector,” he said.
Hamza who commended the Nigeria Metallurgical Society (NMS) and other professional bodies in the sector for condemning the idea of selling ASCO, called on the federal government to urgent articulate policy measures for the utilization of ASCO in the industrialization of Nigeria, adding that unless Nigeria develops her industrial sectors, it will not be able to play big in the committee of nations.
Hamza noted that it is not a good policy proposal to say that ASCO should be sold for the purpose of financing the 2018 budget, adding that only a mindless government will sell such a highly strategic institution to finance a year’s budget.

While stating that “the industrialization of ASCO, National Iron Ore mining Company (NIOMCO), Delta Steel Company (DSC) and the development of Nigeria’s iron and steel sector have never been negotiable and is still not negotiable, and will never be negotiable,” Hamza warned that the National Executive Council of the Mining Union will soon convene to deliberate on the necessity of embarking on a nationwide strike action if government does not heed the clarion call to shelve plans of selling the steel complex.
Hamza said: “It is socially, industrially and economically injurious to Nigeria to transfer in any way the ownership and control of ASCO to any individual or corporate entity,” adding that the federal government must ensure that it retains one hundred percent ownership and control of the systems.

Hamza who explained that Nigeria’s current economic challenges are the result of the failure of various governments to utilize the country’s human and natural resources, adding that government must act beyond the rhetoric of saying that ASCO can create huge number of jobs. “We know that ASCO can create huge number of jobs and we know that government also knows that, what we want government to do is to resuscitate ASCO so that it will deliver the beautiful promises of the sector to Nigerians.”
“No country can join the rank of super powers unless it develops its steel sector. I expect that government knows that the development of a country’s steel sector is will ignite the development of all industrial sectors of the country’s economy,” he said, and explained that it is only when ASCO begins the production of liquid steel that Nigeria can become a manufacturer of steel products like motor vehicles, airplanes and various steel instruments that symbolize national power and glory.

Discussing the strategic nature of ASCO to the industrial development of Nigeria and the African continent, Hamza said: “The Mining union laments that government handles with levity the importance of ASCO,” saying that ASCO is reputed as the largest steel plant in Africa.

Discussing other advantages of resuscitating ASCO, Hamza noted that apart from being able to generate more than five hundred thousand direct and indirect jobs, ASCO has the ability to become a major revenue earner for the government while also improving the Nigerian economy, if resuscitated.
Recalling one of the campaign promises that thrilled the union during the electioneering campaign of General Muhammadu Buhari, Hamza said Gen Buhari has assured that the steel sector will be developed as a major revenue earner for the country. He therefore tasked the federal government to live up to expectation of Nigerians in the steel sector saying that if ASCO is sold, it will augur well for the industrial development of Nigeria.
While calling on government to stop the exportation of unprocessed solid minerals, Hamza stressed the need to ensure value addition to solid minerals before they are exported to other countries, adding that a lot of jobs will be created for Nigerians if government effectively outlaws the export of processed solid minerals.

While he lamented that Nigeria suffers huge revenue losses when businessmen foreigners mine and export undeveloped solid minerals, he said government must exercise the strong will requisite for the resuscitation of ASCO, stating that if ASCO was resuscitated, steel raw materials will be mines and used to feed the production needs of the integrated steel complex.
“It is only when Ajaokuta Steel Company is resuscitated, the iron ore is mined in Itakpe would be easy moved to ASCO for onward use in the production of steel,” he said.

While he specifically noted that the potentials of the Nigerian steel industry have dastardly abused by foreign nationals, notably Indians, who were entrusted with the task of managing it, he tasked the Buhari administration to activate its institutions to develop a framework for the urgent activation of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Delta Steel Company and the National iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe, stating that apart from these, government should stair up the interest of the organized private sector to participate in the development of the country’s steel sector.

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